COA Directs Trial Court to Mind Its "l's" and "m's"--PUBLISHED OPINION | Speaker Law
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COA Directs Trial Court to Mind Its "l's" and "m's"--PUBLISHED OPINION

Posted on Monday, May 14, 2018

In a published decision, the Court of Appeals found that the Kent County Circuit Court erred in terminating a mother's parental rights under MCL 712A.19b(3)(l), where the mother had voluntarily released her rights to a different child under the Adoption Code. In In re MAJJ, minor, the Court held that MCL 712A.19b(3)(l) only permitted mandatory termination of parental rights where the prior termination was entered under the Juvenile Code, not the Adoption Code.


The Court of Appeals affirmed the Trial Court, despite its citation to the wrong statute by finding alternatively that MCL 712A.19b(3)(m) clearly applied to the facts of the case permitting termination of respondent's parental rights. Specifically, subsection (m) applies because the voluntary release of parental rights under the Adoption Code happened after proceedings were initiated pursuant to the Juvenile Code.


Interestingly, this is another case recognizing a repeated pattern where the Court of Appeals expressly states that an appellate attorney did not brief the issue which essentially resulted in the resolution of the case on appeal. Most people are told to mind their "P's" and "Q's," however, in tpr appeals involving voluntary releases followed by subsequent terminations, perhaps we should mind our "l's" and "m's."

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